As part of the BIOMASUD PLUS Project, task 4.1 was part of the WP 4 targeted at “Improving the sustainability requirements of the BIOMASUD Label”. Thus, the scope of Task 4.1 included the review of current sustainability criteria in the BIOMASUD scheme for their update. The review particularly sought the opportunity of supplementing existing sustainability Principles (GHG and energy demand) with new ones, adapting the applicability of these new principles to each of the sources selected for the different biomass categories that BIOMASUD Plus will cover.
Taking in account that approximately, 60% of the European forest area is in hands of small private individuals, families and cooperatives and that very small and small agricultural farms account for more than two thirds (69.1 %) of all the farms in the EU-28, BIOMASUD consortium was pushed to provide a standard that could help those actors, which are main sources for raw materials, to increase their revenues through biomass market but in an affordable and realistic way, in consonance with their real capabilities and structure.
The review of the Sustainability Criteria for BIOMASUD scheme was carried out through following stages:
Figure 1 Process of review of the Sustainability Criteria for BIOMASUD Plus
Once the BIOMASUD PLUS consortium considered the comments coming from both the group of experts as well as those considerations resulting from national focus groups workshops, a final definition of the Sustainable Principles and Criteria for BIOMASUD PLUS scheme was reached. An agreement on the biomass sources that were affected by each of those, was also reached as shown in following table.
Table 1 Sustainability Principles applying to each of the defined Biomass Categories
Each Principle will be verified against the compliance of a set of different criteria and indicators that will become the main tool to monitor compliance for both BIOMASUD holders and auditors.
Table 2 Sustainable principles and criteria, including number of indicators for each criterion
A total of 6 Sustainable Principles, 12 criteria and 18 indicators has been set to prove sustainability through the appliance of BIOMASUD Plus standard.
The full report can be found in the following link: